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South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

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South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

We are a family with 2 kids(9 and 14). We will be flying into/out-of Christchurch

Here is our itinerary and some follow up questions:

Day 1 (Wednesday, 26/02/2014)

Fly into Christchurch(2:30PM)

Overnight: Christchurch

Day 2 (Thursday, 27/02/2014)

Drive to Mt Cook, do the Glacier explorer boat trip

Overnight: Mt Cook/Twizel

Day 3 (Friday, 28/02/2014)

Drive to Wanaka and visit Puzzling World.

Overnight: Wanaka

Day 4 (Saturday, 01/03/2014)

Day trip to Queenstown.

Overnight: Wanaka

Day 5 (Sunday, 02/03/2014)

Local sightseeing in and around Wanaka.

Overnight: Wanaka

Day 6 (Monday, 03/03/2014)

Drive to Glenorchy first and then drive to Te Anau

Overnight: Te Anau

Day 7 (Tuesday, 04/03/2014)

Drive to Milford Sound and back.

Overnight: Te Anau

Day 8 (Wednesday, 05/03/2014)

Drive the SSR through Catlins to Dunedin.

Overnight: Dunedin

Day 9 (Thursday, 06/03/2014)

Dunedin local sightseeing

Overnight: Dunedin

Day 10 (Friday, 07/03/2014)

Drive to Christchruch(Flight is at 1:00PM)


1. Are taxis readily available in Christchurch or we need a car to move around? Any suggestions for a family hotel in Christchurch with shops/restaurants in walking distance?

2. In stead of staying in Christchurch for the night, can we drive straight from the airport to some good place near lake Pukaki and stay there for 2 nights and do Mt Cook as a day trip. We will be coming to Christchurch after spending few days in Sydney, so it is not a long flight for us. We would rather have a long day and a 2 night stay than having to stay one night in Christchurch and one night at Mt Cook.

3. My daughters love domestic animals. Is there any farm-stay in/near our stops for overnight stay? Any specific suggestions?

4. Is there going to be snow at any ski slopes at this time of the year? My daughters want to play in the snow, so don't mind taking a detour.

5. I read somewhere that SSR between Te Anau and Dunedin can be done in a day. Is it true? If yes then what are the places where we can stop for wildlife viewing?

6. What is a good area in Dunedin to stay for local sightseeing? Any suggestion for a family hotel?

Appreciate your help/suggestions on this. Thanks in advance!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

Welcome to the NZ forum. You are leaving it a bit late to get accommodation in places like Christchurch but i recommend you consider motels rather than hotels. It is often possible to get a 2 bedroom "motel unit", with self-contained kitchen, ideal for a family. Some motels have swimming pools.

February/March is late summer so there will be no easily accessible snow, however the glaciers have permanent ice/snow so you can do a skiplane or heliflight with a glacier landing from places like Mt Cook or Wanaka.

I really recommend you spend your first night in Chch. Pete's Farm Stay is often mentioned here although I have no personal knowledge of it. There are also farmstays in the Akaroa area & in South Canterbury (look for Ashburton, Geraldine, Methven). Unfortunately veyr few people who stay there ever return to give us feedback.

Why are you spending 3 nights in Wanaka & doing so much backtracking? It would be better to swap days 4 & 5 & spend night 5 in Queenstown.

It would be a pity to attempt the SSR in one day. It is not the road that is scenic but all the side trips to beaches, seal colonies, waterflals etc. Some are only accessible at low tide. If you drive straight through you don't see any of these things.

Dunedin to CHC is a good 5 hr drive wihtout stops. Are you catching a domestic or International flight at 1pm? Hav eyou considered Flying DUN to CHC to save time?

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2. Re: South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

Yes, taxis are readily available in Christchurch, as is bus transport.

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3. Re: South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

Thank you Zhuhai and FoxyMX!

I will lookup Pete's farm stay. We wanted to stay 2 nights in Wanaka and 2 in Queenstown but don't have the time. We chose Wanaka as it seems to be a more relaxed place and good family accommodation in Queenstown is expensive this late.

Our flight from Christchurch is a domestic flight. We are renting from Apex and they don't have an outlet in Dunedin.

We simply don't have the time to spend more than a day on SSR. Otherwise we have to skip Dunedin and drive straight to Christchurch if we spend a night somewhere on SSR. I love driving on scenic roads, don't mind spending a really long day on SSR if we can visit just one/two attractions on the way.

Thanks again zhuhai2007 for such detailed answers.

4. Re: South Island tentative Itinerary and questions

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